The IEA also assessed the potential for full implementation of the methane-reduction pledge signed so far by 50 oil and gas companies during COP28. The 50 producers represent more than 40% of global oil production and include a record number of state oil companies. They signed on to the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter, agreeing to curb upstream methane emissions to near zero and eliminate routine flaring by 2030.
Following through on all those pledges combined — renewables, energy efficiency and methane/flaring, would only fill roughly 30% of the emissions gap that needs to be addressed to reach the IEA's net-zero emissions by 2050 scenario, the analysis said.
Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, said Nov. 30 that emerging agreements at COP28 to triple global renewable power capacity by 2030 are a good first step, but that staying on track for climate goals will require doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvements, fossil fuel industry commitments to align activities with the Paris Agreement, large-scale financing to triple clean-energy investment in emerging and developing economies, and an orderly decline in the use of fossil fuels.
A draft final COP28 climate agreement published Dec. 11 does not address phasing out of fossil fuels, and instead it provided several options that countries could take to reduce production and consumption by 2050.
The draft agreement, known as the global stocktake, "falls fatally short of what the climate and economy demand: a phaseout of unabated fossil fuels," said Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of Ceres. The group of investors and sustainability advocates applauded the renewed commitments to renewable energy and sustainability, but it is concerned that allowing options "does not reflect the level of urgency demanded by the global climate crisis" or address the potential for procrastination, Lubber said in an emailed statement. "We need well-defined interim steps that can act as benchmarks."